Connecticut Huskies vs. South Florida Bulls
The South Florida Bulls head north to take on the Connecticut Huskies with both teams coming in off of defeats in conference action. The Bulls were routed by Pittsburgh in week five 44-17 while the Huskies were handed a 43-16 loss at West Virginia last Saturday. The Bulls are -6 point favorites over the Huskies with an over/under point total set at 53.
South Florida’s stay in the top 20 didn’t last all that long with their offense and defense getting handled with ease against the Panthers. Just when BJ Daniels and crew appear to have things pointed in the right direction things regress. It wasn’t a bad performance yardage wise with 425 yards but the offense wasn’t consistent and most of the problems revolve around the passing of BJ Daniels who never seems to stray far from accuracy issues that plague him. Daniels was 18 of 36 for 223 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He did have a few downfield completions but didn’t hookup nearly enough with his receiving corps especially in the second half. The rushing attack was very effective with over 200 yards and over five yard average but the Bulls were taken away from the ground game because they were playing catch up in the final thirty minutes. The duo of Darrell Scott and Demetrius Murray combined for 143 yards on 22 carries and would have had more if not for the need of plenty of points in a very short time. There wasn’t much noise from the bread and butter defense that was viewed as one of the best as Pittsburgh totaled 523 yards in whatever manner they chose. Connecticut hung with West Virginia for two quarters but couldn’t sustain their defensive success for a full 60 minutes while the offense struggled throughout. The Huskies offense totaled just 275 yards and were only 4 of 16 on third down conversions. The UConn ground game found the going tough with less than 90 yards which really hurts a challenged offense that needs to move the chains while controlling the clock. Lyle McCombs gave the team 73 yards but it took him 20 carries forcing quarterback Jonny McEntree to the air more than the team would have liked. McEntree was 21 of 37 for 193 yards without a touchdown or pick but he still has accuracy issues and the passing game was mostly limited to the short stuff with few throws going much further than ten yards. The problem on this day was containing the West Virginia defense which totaled 541 yards with most of the Mountaineers yardage coming in a 33 point second half. The Connecticut defense did have a 48 yard pick six but other than that little went right for this unit in the final 30 minutes.
Connecticut relies heavily on their defense to manage the scoreboard because moving the football consistently and scoring are not a strength. South Florida has plenty to prove after Pittsburgh smacked them around for nearly 60 minutes. The numbers say USF has the edge but that was also the case versus the Panthers. I am looking at South Florida to respond with a good all around performance here to get back in the national rankings.
South Florida Bulls -6 Connecticut Huskies